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Thursday, May 27, 2010

OUR FLAG

Today, in honor of Memorial Day, I want to share with you a little item from my home.  I was lucky enough to be able to purchase it at a flea market several years ago.  It is one of the original lithographs made of  Fred Tripp's original oil painting called "Our Flag." It came to me already framed with the original letter from McCleary Hospital in Excelsior Springs, Missouri that was sent out to former patients with the lithograph in 1940.  I am so very proud to have a part of original American history in my home. I hope you enjoy the photos and the information about the painting.

The Story of a Famous Painting
"Softly draped with folds unstirred by even so much as a breath of summer breeze. Old Glory, OUR FLAG, the flag of destiny, rests, waiting! It symbolizes the soul of America, standing in silent prayer before the Father of Light, receiving His guidance and protection through another perilous journey. It is the morning prayer of the American people, the prayer that arms them to the problems of the day with courage and cheer. Before it, America stands in reverence, realizing her sacred duty to mankind and her glorious destiny." In 1940, when the world was in a turmoil, Fred Tripp of Beloit, Wisconsin, was 71 years of age. He looked out his hospital window at McCleary Hospital in Excelsior Springs, Missouri and was inspired by the flag flying atop the post office across the street. Mr. Tripp never in his life had a painting lesson, yet he produced a masterpiece, an inspiring, compelling expression on canvas of what he felt in his heart and soul about the Flag of his Country. He presented this six foot oil painting to the hospital.

Motivated by the spirit of patriotism that was sweeping the country in 1940, McCleary Memorial Hospital produced full color lithograph reproductions and presented one to each of their many former patients all over the United States. Its distribution had reached the 200,000 mark when World War II broke out. With the outbreak of war, the demand for the picture increased beyond the Hospital's capacity to reproduce it so its distribution was turned over to a commercial enterprise. Since that time, it has become the most widely distributed flag picture in the United States, with copies hanging in many Washington congressional offices, the office of Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, as well as in homes all across the country.

Please take a minute and consider flying your flag in honor of your freedom and the men and women who have sacrificed and are sacrificing their lives so that we may continue to have the privilege to do so. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day from Cat Haven Cats and all my moggies!

5 comments:

  1. Well hello there! Glad you stopped by to let me know you found my blog, and glad to have found you as well! That's a great print of the flag ~ I can see why you were thrilled to have found it after reading the story about it. I didn't realize we are both around the same age, (I'm turning 55 the end of July!). Going to add you to my blogs sidebar today. Enjoy a great Memorial Day weekend!

    Mary

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  2. what a wonderful story.I will be flying my flag proudly too..:)

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  3. Glad you liked it! I'm always wondering though ... whose picture do I have because obviously he/she was a patient at the McCleary Hospital prior to 1940. I think that would make an interesteing story to know, too!

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  4. That is a great piece of history and a beautiful photo. You're so lucky to have found it.

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  5. I found your blog while searching the internet for a cross stitch pattern of "Our Flag". We inherited our print of "Our Flag" from my husband father - who had it hanging in his house year round. He inherited the print from his father (my husbands grandfather) - I don't know if it is one of the original prints or not but it's pretty old. Thank you for posting a copy of the original letter also - I printed it to go with our copy of the print. We hang the print each memorial day and for the 4th of July.

    If you happen to find where someone has converted "Our Flag" to a cross stitch pattern I would love to hear from you - Thanks again - Sandi (sfalconer@mac.com)

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